US focuses on China’s growing challenge over West Pacific

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US forces are also observing the “increased tempo” of longer-range operations by the PLA Air Force, he said, adding that the Chinese force attempt to see “how American units respond and react”…reports Asian Lite News

US Air Force chief General Charles Brown is very focused on the growing challenge and assertiveness of China’s military airpower over the Western Pacific and toward Japan and Taiwan, Sputnik reported.

General Charles Brown on Tuesday said that China is operating “increased capability in some of their platforms [and on] their propensity to fly over the water a bit more and challenge in areas around the region”.

Expressing view over China’s rising capabilities, Brown said “I am still hyper-focused on the capabilities of the PRC [People’s Republic of China] and how they are operating increased capability in some of their platforms [and on] their propensity to fly over the water a bit more and challenge in areas around the region, according to Sputnik.

Emphasising China’s increasing flights in international waters, he said “by stepping up its flights China is testing the responsiveness and speeds of reaction not only of the US Air Force, but also the air defences of Taiwan and Japan”.

Underling Beijing’s continuous violation of Taiwan’s air defence zone, he said that China challenges Taipei in internal space every day. “It’s not just Taiwan: Japan sees some of the same things,” he said.

US forces are also observing the “increased tempo” of longer-range operations by the PLA Air Force, he said, adding that the Chinese force attempt to see “how American units respond and react”.

Canberra-Taipei partnership

With China’s rising military power and its assertiveness in the Indo Pacific region, may push Australia and Taiwan to develop bilateral strategic security cooperation, said a report.

Both the countries do not have any formal defence ties yet, which could be needed as an additional tool to uphold regional security and stability with China’s rising influence in the region.

An article written by Australian Senator Jim Molan, titled ‘War-gaming tomorrow: It’s possible this will end in an all-out invasion’ in the Weekend Australian newspaper published on September 11, outlined a potential scenario for Australia in the post-Afghanistan era, reported Taipei Times.

“China has one strategic aim: to be dominant, first in the region and then perhaps in the world. The US is the target. The Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) objective is to reduce US power, and Taiwan should be seen as the means,” Molan wrote.

Molan observed China’s strategy is to use a conflict in the Taiwan Strait to expel the US military from the Western Pacific.

In the last few years, the Australian government has decided to adapt itself to the ASEAN alliance structure over the regional security issues and placed increasing importance on the situation in the Taiwan Strait.

Australian Defence Minister Peter Dutton in an interview said that conflict with China over Taiwan “should not be discounted,” adding that Australia would make sure that “we continue to be a good neighbour in the region and that we work with our partners and with our allies. Nobody wants to see conflict,” reports Taipei Times.

Dutton further said that China’s designs over Taiwan were increasingly apparent and that the time had come for Australia’s military to shift its centre of gravity toward neighbouring regions.

Australian Financial Review opinion article, titled ‘Australia draws the China line at Taiwan’, published on May 6 discussed the elevated tensions in the Taiwan Strait, saying that in the event of armed conflict, Australia and New Zealand might be obliged to at least provide tacit support to the US as required under the 1951 Australia, New Zealand, US Security Treaty, reports Taipei Times.

Australia’s defence strategy is focused on augmenting its military force, in order to prevent Beijing from destroying the “status quo” in the Indo-Pacific region and invading Taiwan.

Canberra and Taipei share many of the same values: democracy, liberty, the rule of law and protection of human rights, as well as a healthy bilateral trade relationship. Taiwan should make full use of the strategic opportunity of Australia paying attention to the China threat and the situation in the Taiwan Strait. (ANI)

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